3 easy ways to make a house feel more like a home

We recently had guests at our home and while they admired the paint colors and natural light, they asked if we had just moved in (we have been here more than four years).

I realized that although I adore our house, a house isn’t a home until you personalize it. Here are three ways I will be adding that personal touch to our home in hopes that we aren’t mistaken for Airbnb guests anymore.

However you choose to decorate your home, make it your own! There are no rules, so express your family’s personality and create a space that represents you

Vacation photos

I adore travel. I have excellent snapshots of the beaches in Cinque Terre, a panoramic sunset over Torch Lake and an underwater coral reef in Grand Cayman. But you would never know because they still reside on my iPhone. 

Artmill, a local Chicago provider of framing alternatives, specializes in getting images off your phone and on to your wall. Since all of their jobs are 100 percent custom, they can transform a digital file to framed art with incredibly high quality. I visited their workshop and was blown away by the fact that multiple real live people actually touch every single project—it won’t go out the door unless it is perfect.

Family photos

Our last (stressful and lengthy) family photo session occurred before my daughter could walk or talk. She is now in preschool and a very sassy little gal, with an older brother who loves to ham it up and express his silly side. I finally found a photographer who thinks outside the box and created 10-minute themed sessions that will have your kids giggling, grinning and camera-ready without the cheesy school photo smiles. 

Jessie Hearn provides all the props and inspiration for a memorable and affordable way to capture their personalities. She also offers longer sessions either at her studio in Evanston or your favorite location.

Works of art

How many pieces of art does your child bring home on a daily basis? Mine average three per day each, so that is 30 pieces per week. I bought an art display board for about $20 (basically a piece of wood with multiple clips) and I rotate the work out every week. 

Bad MOMent: My son found some of the pieces in the trash. Luckily, I had taken photos of them before tossing and described my master plan to him. I use Chatbooks to create mini photo albums for my family, and I am also creating books with their artwork. I photograph every piece before lovingly placing most in the circular file, then upload them to a custom book.

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